Update on Windreach Farm's Operations due to COVID-19. MORE INFO

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight – March 2020

Carolynn MacKinnon – started February 2019

Carolynn came to WindReach early in 2019 after retiring from an intense career. She was looking for a positive environment and was looking to do something that was both close to home and that would allow her to work outside. She went online to google ‘volunteer locally’ and found WindReach Farm.

When asked what she likes about volunteering at WindReach, Carolynn answered ‘being outside’ and helping out with the Beyond the Farm Gate program where she gets to go to different places all the time (schools, seniors residences, community organizations). She enjoys being able to connect with all ages, stages and abilities – this includes working with children, women and seniors. Carolynn enjoys the positive outlook of the WindReach staff and the whole operation.

Carolynn is most surprised about the interaction she sees between people and animals and what a huge impact the animals can have on people in such a short time. Recently, at a seniors’ home, one of the ladies appeared quite comfortable with having a chicken on her lap. She had connected with the chicken because of her past. It turns out that she was former farmer who was dealing with dementia and wasn’t coherent a lot of the time during the visit, except for when she held the chicken. She told Carolynn “this is the best day I’ve had in a very long time!”

Carolynn wishes more people knew about WindReach Farm and the amazing programs here. She wishes more people knew how easy it is to interact with, and be part of, WindReach programs. The volunteer program is very flexible and accessible for everyone! You can do as much or as little as you want within the required 10 hours per month. “It’s not a lot, really – volunteers are given the flexibility to work around their schedule and the Farm’s needs.”

When she’s not volunteering at WindReach Farm, Carolynn is kept busy with her new home and working on various projects there. She is an artist and enjoys painting and pottery, as well as curling and travelling. She likes to stays busy and is still figuring out how this whole retirement thing works!

Thank you, Carolynn, for all that you do at WindReach Farm.

One person CAN make a difference!

Volunteer Spotlight – February 2020

person smiling with horseMichal Kiezebrink – started May 2017

Michal came to WindReach Farm in May 2017 for a New Volunteer Orientation after her mom suggested checking it out. She had never heard of WindReach before then, but was impressed when she arrived.

With her farming background, Michal started out volunteering with mucking stalls, something she had familiarity with, and has since assisted with therapeutic riding lessons and other stable chores. She also helps with turning horses in and out, grooming and tacking up horses before lessons and leading or sidewalking during lessons. Michal really enjoys helping out at Holly Jolly Jubilee and other special events like the Whitby Santa Claus Parade – both on and off site in the community. Michal’s scoliosis doesn’t slow her down, as she manages to put in a full day volunteering with a physical job at WindReach, and is often there two days a week.

When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering, Michal said she has made lots of friends while volunteering, both human and horse-kind and loves spending time with both. “Seeing kids smile and have a good time riding! It’s a lot of fun,” she replied.

One of the best things to happen to Michal while volunteering at WindReach is she now feels she has more compassion for others. She has noticed her patience level has also increased while working with animals and people.
When Michal is not volunteering, she enjoys being home spending time with her family, friends and just hanging out with her Old English Bulldog, Hagrid.
Thank you Michal for all that you do at WindReach Farm.

One person CAN make a difference!

Volunteer Spotlight – January 2020

Michael Winter – started March 2018

Michael retired at the start of 2018 and was looking for something to occupy his time. Our then Board member Jon, suggested he look into volunteering at WindReach Farm. Michael had no idea what WindReach Farm was but thought it sounded interesting. “I’ve always felt that I was very fortunate to have had the career at OPG that I did, and once I had retired, I was looking for some way to give back, and the Farm has been the perfect opportunity for that.”

His volunteer jobs are mainly in the property maintenance area and include: grass cutting, tree pruning, trimming, fence repairs, snow removal/clearing and whatever project is on our property manager Tony’s list.

When asked what has surprised Michael the most about WindReach Farm, he replied “the programs and what they can do for the participants is quite amazing.” He is also surprised at the number of volunteers (300) compared to full-time staff (15).

Michael hopes to share with others WindReach Farm’s services, and wants people to benefit from the amazing programs there. He tries to help promote WindReach Farm with others in the community by talking about his experience here and sharing it with those who may benefit.
Michael has a keen interest in motorcycles and enjoys riding his motorcycle when the weather is nice.
Thank you Michael for all that you do at WindReach Farm.

One person CAN make a difference!